Monday, February 14, 2011

Supporting Athletes

Originally published on My Life Is Like A Song on February 14, 2011

It was a year ago that Alexandre Bilodeau became the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil.

He began our most successful games winning more gold medals than any other country at a Winter Olympics.

For every gold medal winner, there are other athletes who don't reach the top of the podium, but may reach a personal best. Some may have an off day that breaks their heart. Most (hopefully all) give the best that they have to give that day. Some win, some don't.

Whether they win or not, our support can mean a lot to them. Last week as I was reminiscing about the Olympics, I remembered an athlete saying that even a small amount can make the difference between a good meal and an ok meal. I can't remember who said it, but I didn't forget it although I didn't know how I could help.

A few days later, I was catching up on my RSS feeds and read this article by Randy Starkman in The Toronto Star. It was too bad that I didn't read it the day he wrote it. It was the last day for donations to Canadian Athlete Fund to be matched.

The cool thing about Canadian Athlete Fund is that you can choose to find out who was the recipient of your donation. That gives you an extra reason to cheer for them as well as to donate more often to help more athletes.

Since then, I received an email from the Canadian Olympic Committee. They also have a fund that helps athletes. You can get more information or donate here.

The Canadian Tourism Commission is donating one dollar to Olympic athletes for every person that clicks like on their facebook page.

Before the Olympics began last year, all I dreamed of was for a single gold medal. I didn't want to be the country that hosted three times without a gold medal. As excited as we were last year for each gold medal; for me, it doesn't matter whether we ever come close to matching that magic again. We did it at home and it was unforgettable.

All I want is for our athletes to do their best. This includes having the time and energy to train as best as they can. That's not to say that I won't be cheering and hoping for gold. I may shed a tear if my favourite falls short, but if our athletes have performed to the best of their ability that day, it's all we can ask for.

Although some athletes have sponsors and can train full time; most amateur athletes don't have that luxury. Many work part time in order to support their passion and their dream.

A single donation from a Canadian fan may not seem like it can make a difference for our athletes, but donations from thousands can make a huge difference.

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